Israel Adesanya avoids conviction for drunk driving charge, but receives fine among other penalties

By Cole Shelton - January 10, 2024

Israel Adesanya avoided conviction for his drunk driving charge in New Zealand.

Israel Adesanya

Adesanya was charged on August 19 for drunk driving as he was operating a car with 87 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, which is over the legal limit of 50 milligrams. The maximum penalty for the drunk driving charge is a term of imprisonment of three months or a fine of $4500. The incident happened just weeks before his title defense against Sean Strickland which he lost by decision.

After being charged for drunk driving, Adesanya released a statement apologizing for his actions.

“I want to apologize to the community, my family and my team for the decision I made to get behind the wheel after drinking at dinner,” Adesanya said back in September. “I am disappointed with my decision to drive. It was wrong. I know that people might follow me, and I want them to know I do not think this behavior is acceptable.”

On Tuesday in New Zealand, Israel Adesanya returned to the courtroom and according to the New Zealand Herald, Adesanya was granted a discharge without conviction. Instead of a conviction, the judge ordered Adesanya to pay $1500 to a charity, refrain from driving for six months, and enroll in a stop-drink driving program when his travel schedule suits by the end of the year.

“I’m sure you have learned from this,” Judge Winter told Adesanya as he sat in the courtroom dock. “You would not want to be placed in this position again, as you realize.”

After the decision was read, Israel Adesanya was grateful and thanked the judge for not convicting him on the charge.

“Your Honor,” he said with his hand over his heart. “Thank you.”

Israel Adesanya is coming off a decision loss to Sean Strickland back in September to lose his middleweight title. Since then, he claimed he would be taking a long hiatus from MMA. However, during the court hearing, Adesanya’s lawyer Karl Trotter revealed ‘The Last Stylebender’ is expected to be in Toronto on Jan. 2o to watch the middleweight title fight between Strickland and Du Plessis.

Trotter says Adesanya will be in Toronto for promotional purposes from the UFC, which could put ‘The Last Stylebender’ in line to fight the winner.

Israel Adesanya is currently 24-3 as a pro and coming off the loss to Strickland. Before that, he scored a KO win over Alex Pereira to reclaim the belt in the rematch between the two.


Israel Adesanya UFC